Commerce Bancshares reports rise in earnings

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The holding company of Commerce Bank reported Wednesday that its fourth quarter earnings last year jumped slightly when compared with its earnings from the same quarter in 2014.

Commerce Bancshares announced earnings of 63 cents per share for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, an increase of 3 cents from the fourth quarter in 2014, according to a news release. The company reported earnings of 63 cents per share for the third quarter of 2015.

Net income was also up for the most-recent quarter, reported at $63.7 million compared with $62.7 million from the fourth quarter in 2014. Net income was down for Commerce Bancshares, however, from the $64.6 million that was reported for the third quarter of 2015.

“Customer demand was strongest for business and commercial construction loans, although business real estate, automobile and credit card loans also showed good growth,” said David Kemper, company chairman and CEO, in the release. “Loan growth remained strong this quarter as average loans increased $334 million, or 11 percent annualized, compared to the previous quarter. Fee income also grew 4.3 percent on higher fees mainly from deposit, bank card, trust and mortgage banking activities.”

Net income attributable to Commerce Bancshares for the fourth quarter of 2015 amounted to $63.7 million, compared to $62.7 million for the same quarter in 2014 and $64.6 million for the third quarter last year. In 2015, earnings per common share totaled $2.56 compared to $2.49 in 2014, according to the release.

Total assets for the bank as of Dec. 31 were reported to be $24.6 billion. Based in Kansas City, Commerce operates in more than 300 locations in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Bryan Horwath: 316-269-6708, @bryan_horwath